Day 1Arrive in Warsaw, Poland
Witamy—welcome to Poland’s vibrant capital city! Check into your hotel, then the rest of the day is free. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Today’s included sightseeing tour with a Local Guide is an excellent introduction to Warsaw, the geographic and political center of Poland since 1611. After its wartime destruction, the historic Old Town was magnificently reconstructed according to old paintings and photographs. This afternoon, why not sample some traditional pierogi (dumplings) or bigos (hunter’s stew) at a local restaurant or join an optional excursion to Wilanów Castle? (Breakfast)
One of the most important shipping ports in Northern Europe, Gdansk was formerly known by its German name, Danzig. Sightseeing this afternoon with your Local Guide introduces you to this beautiful seaside town—past and present. Later, enjoy free time to join one of our optional activities or to do your own exploring in this delightfully walkable city. (Breakfast, Dinner)
First stop today is medieval Torun on the Vistula River, birthplace of astronomer Copernicus. Torun managed to escape major damage in WWI, and your Local Guide will introduce you to this beautiful university town, including the Starowka (Old Town), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next up: Poznan, a part of Polish history for the past 1,000 years. Poznan has a wonderful mix of gothic and baroque architecture, including a 10th-century cathedral, the Dzialinksi Palace, 16th-century town hall clock and a fine opera house. A leisurely walk in the Main Square is a pleasent way to spend the evening. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 5Poznan–Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany–Berlin
Today, head farther west and cross the border into Germany for an en-route visit to Eisenhüttenstadt. Located on the Oder River in the Berlin-Warsaw glacial valley and surrounded by hills and pine forests, the town was founded in 1950 as Stalinstadt. Situated alongside a new steel mill, it became known as a socialist model city. In 1961 and following de-Stalinization, the town was renamed Eisenhüttenstadt (Ironworks City). Later, via ancient Frankfurt an der Oder, reach Germany’s capital city, Berlin. (Breakfast)
On this morning’s included guided tour, learn how the city is no longer divided but every bit as fascinating. Once the city of contrasts with a wall separating two different worlds, Berlin has developed into a harmonious blend of old and new. It has preserved the old buildings, such as the State Opera House and the Brandenburg Gate, its neoclassic-style boulevards such as the Kurfüstendamm and Unter den Linden, while creating new buildings in cutting-edge architectural styles. It is once again Germany’s capital and one of Europe's most lively and interesting cities. In the afternoon, maybe join the optional excursion to historic Potsdam, famous for its fine palaces and many beautiful historical buildings. (Breakfast)
Depart Berlin this morning and head north to Schwerin, the “City of the Seven Lakes.” Time to visit this picturesque town with its iconic Schwerin Castle, located on an island and residence of the Dukes of Mecklenburg for centuries. Explore the cobblestoned market square and stroll through the narrow lanes lined with historical buildings. Then, head towards Hamburg for two overnights. (Breakfast, Dinner)
One of Germany’s greatest maritime cities, Hamburg was originally a modest settlement on the banks of the Alster River, but prospered when it became a member of the Hanseatic League. This morning, accompanied by your Local Guide, admire many of the city’s highlights: observe impressive merchant's houses, glistening canals and lavish promenades. Later, why not join an optional excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lübeck—formerly capital of the Hanseatic League, which controlled trade along the Baltic as far as Russia? (Breakfast)
Day 9Hamburg–Bremen–Amsterdam, Holland
Stop in Bremen, Germany’s smallest city-state and oldest maritime city. On the western side of the Town Hall, take photos of the bronze statue of the Bremen Town Musicians, commemorating the famous fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Be sure to touch the donkey’s front hooves for good luck! Later, head west and cross the border into the Netherlands. Arrive in Amsterdam, the country’s 700-year-old capital city. (Breakfast)
Today, see the city’s highlights with a Local Guide. Later, see the town from water level on a canal cruise, and watch the cutting and polishing of precious stones at a diamond center. Afternoon at leisure—maybe join an optional excursion. (Breakfast)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
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